Feb 072013

Have you ever walked through a mall or driven down a street when something caught your eye and pulled you off course?  The moral of the story is, “Feet (or cars) go where attention goes.”  Or, as some unknown person put it, “Energy flows where attention goes.”

Like birds, people are attracted to bright, shiny objects.  People with a strong entrepreneurial spirit are particularly vulnerable to their effect.

And, there’s an almost unlimited supply of shiny objects – information, technology, programs, organizations – all helping to generate more shiny objects – projects, publications, new programs and so on.  They certainly aren’t in short supply, and they lead you on a trail of unfinished or unfocused programs and projects.

Ultimately you  find yourself with stacks of unfinished or unfocused programs and projects.  Eventually the volume becomes overwhelming.  Your field of vision narrows.  Procrastination sets in.  You lose faith in yourself and your word, and your relationships start to suffer.

Don’t wallow.  Throw yourself a lifeline.

Read the full article in Leader Up! e-zine.  http://bit.ly/14G6aGX

Treat Your Customers Well, Whoever They May Be

 Leadership, Relationships  Comments Off on Treat Your Customers Well, Whoever They May Be
Jan 232013

Who are the easiest customers or clients for you or your business to get?  They’re the ones you already have.  And what’s the best way to retain them?  Provide them with outstanding customer service while they’re doing business with you.

Customer service means different things to different people.  Providing outstanding, memorable products or services on a consistent basis is great customer service, of course. It’s just not the whole picture.

People are people, and everyone has the potential for being your customer or client.  Depending on the size and nature of your business, you may have internal customers and external customers.  If you want to stretch, even family members can fall into that category.

Leaders treat all of their customers, internal and external, with respect and professionalism.

Focus on the relationship, not just the sale.  Starts with the bigger why — the reason you’re in business, the problem you solve, and the emotional connection that links the two.

Make time to develop a rapport with your customers.  Talk to them, ask them open-ended questions (questions that can’t be answered with yes or no) and listen to their responses.  Learn what their issues are and offer solutions to their problems.  Treat them the way they want to be treated, given where they are today.

Of course, surprise and delight your customers by going an extra mile.  Provide a level of service that will make them remember you.  This is important when things go right and even more important when things go wrong.  Little problems fester and grow into major issues when they’re not addressed promptly.

Be as grateful for the customer who doesn’t complete a purchase as you are for the one who does.  Learn from the experience.

Show the customer how much you appreciate their business by staying in touch.    It’s a challenge that’s worth the effort.  Deepen the relationship.

EXERCISE – Clarify Your Customer Service Position in Leader Up! e-zine…  http://bit.ly/W1g046